tv [untitled] December 7, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EST
you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else you hear or see some other part of it and realize that everything is i don't know i'm tom parker was a big issue. in . the low end welcome to crossfire computable the rise and fall of civilizations for over a century there have been predictions of the western decline given the global financial crisis that started in two thousand and eight and the stagnation in much of the western world are some of those predictions coming true and if the west is in
decline what will take its place. to cross talk to decline of the west i'm joined by alexander graff lamb stores he's in brussels he is the vice president of the liberal group in the european parliament and in some paolo we crossed the pepe escobar he is a journalist and author all right gentlemen crosstalk rules in effect that means you can jump in anytime you want to be if i go to you first is the west in decline . they should ask spangler in fact they should ask spangler stone because he said that hundred years ago in fact it's very complicated the west is not declining to middle classes all across the western developed world they're not only declining but they are going off the grid altogether in fact deletes are not declining so if you ask the elites in brussels by the way in washington d.c. they are fighting the decline of the west and nail. this implies financial
capitalism and the nexus between financial capitalism new liberalism and the war party which is basically the democrats in the republics in the west but also some parties in europe as well so all deletes will fight it it's the decline of the roman empire you could you could see it's in slow motion but it's also the tour turbo accelerated version and we have to ask this question to our friends in beijing by the way because for them this is the chinese century so what are they putting in place in terms of not emulating all the mistakes committed by the west especially for these past one hundred years and is there going to be a chinese century that is chinese century chinese characteristics i don't think so but then we're going to talk about it soon ok alexander when you come in on this go ahead well i just don't think the west is in the climate quite on the contrary we're the most dynamic economic structure that exists on the face of the earth we
tracked more foreign direct investment in europe alone than all the brics together india china russia and brazil and if one talks about the chinese century let's just look at a couple of elections that just took place everybody followed the us elections it was a very tight race between president obama and mitt romney in france we had a new president elected and people followed that in russia there was an election but not much choice and in china there wasn't even the pretended they didn't pretend to elect a new leader they just put someone there and people don't want that people want democracy people want to say people want to play a role in their societies china does not offer that to them in the political sphere and therefore i believe for a long time coming there's not going to be a chinese century while alexander what about the middle class what it would be said about the middle class because that's the power of the west traditionally. yes i mean the middle class is very strong in the west pretty is the right there are problems we have a declining middle class that is something. we have to fight but for the time being
we are both the most competitive societies and the most equitable societies if you look at the distribution of income in china in russia in brazil you will see that the first the people at the very top they will get so much more of their share of national wealth than the rest of society that is not the case in the west yes we have a you know a number of rich people in the united states and in europe but by and large the middle class is the strongest in the west stronger than anywhere else pepe what about rising middle classes elsewhere. no. we have to qualify what alexander just said. the problem is inequality in. western countries starting with the west look i was before the u.s. election i did six thousand miles in six southwest states i saw poverty all over i lived in california twenty years ago i used to go to the southwest in years ago
when you compare what's going on in parts of nevada in parts of utah and parts of colorado now days to twenty years ago you know it. is graphic in the in europe is more complicated for instance i have lots of friends in spain my son lives in barcelona for that matter so i'm in close contact what's going on inside spain's unemployment rate for the new generation the google facebook generation now is fifty percent so even if you go to a good school or even a technical school. it is in spain our stores there's no jobs so the solution for them is to immigrate to south america over here you know any in europe is more complicated have parts of germany which have some of the best standard of living anywhere in the world you have northeastern italy for instance which has a tradition of small premiership you go to a small. construction area. making clothes either gucci styling florence or making food in bali and export all over the world but it is
they've been doing that for a thousand years or so and then you compare it to rome maples in southern italy it's a total disgrace they themselves say that they live in africa and in fact so this is the problem is the inequality inside the western capitalist system and this inequality is being reproduced by the chinese like i most of the time i am between those americas north and south europe and china whenever i travel inside china i see the same mistakes they are committing that the west has been committing for the past twenty years and it's basically to apply new liberalism to china alexander you clarkie disagree go ahead of course or disagree the problem is not inequality in and of itself the problem is the degree of inequality and i have driven around the southwestern united states as well and of course there's impoverishment there but if you drive up and down the east coast of the united states you will find that between boston miami i mean there's an enormous degree of wealth there other parts of the countries that are enormously wealthy the same goes for europe and of course
pippi is right spain is in crisis yes southern italy has been in crisis for decades yes does that mean the entire west the western social model is in decline no i fundamentally disagree we have managed to create a degree of inequality in our societies that maintains the dynamism people want to move up and they have the opportunity to move up i believe that in parts of the united states the degree of inequality is at a level that would never be acceptable in europe but in europe our inequality that we have here maintains a dynamism and actually social mobility. in western europe these days is higher than it is in the united states or in other societies for that matter ok pepe what about the welfare state cannot survive all this yes in scandinavia exactly it's it does survive in scandinavia it's not going to survive in the club med countries and if you compare their social services to the countries in the north the lags behind them france which is more or less the middle term between the maddin the
scandinavians you know will survive but how they're going to pay it they don't know sarkozy didn't know and obviously the a pathetic francois hollande also doesn't know how to pay these bills so the problem is and when you when you see the bric countries where social services and help for the poor it's legs away behind even the club med countries in europe that's even more complicated like in brazil for instance if you are poor if you don't have private social security you have to go to a state hospital and you spend like six months or eight months in a bloody key you know waiting to get a ticket so you can have an operation and this and we're talking about the six largest economy in the world you know they're always they don't have enough funds to support social security system for almost two hundred million people the country is still basically a poor country with pockets of one percent all over just like china just like
russia for that matter i wouldn't even talk about start talking about india where you know social security for one billion indians is absolutely out of the picture ok alex i couldn't in your head. i couldn't agree more but it makes my point yes we do have inequality yes we have problems in the west but we address them and generally speaking i think you know millions actually perhaps billions of people would love nothing better than to live in the west we do not have to wait eight months before you peter you before you treated in hospital. you don't have to spend a year's salary or medical treatment where you have access to basic social services where you have low levels of corruption where you have inefficient by and large at ministration where you have the rule of law where you can rely on the alexander here's a rational is it sustainable what you're talking about well it must be made sustainable and the club med that was just mentioned the countries in the south of europe they have lived beyond their means and it's true they go through a phase of contraction right now the situation in spain is not good the situation
in greece is not good but i believe these countries will pull their acts together they will move out of this spain has been a very good performance terms of its public finances it has grown dramatically over the last twenty thirty years it loses a little bit of that growth now but it will rebound greece is a special case but it's too small to discuss it here as a an example for the west at large generally speaking i'd say millions of people would still love in countries that look like the western countries so there is no decline ok peping i mean how is this going to work over time ok look i have basically agree i agree with alex on in terms of when i travel in central asia for instance their model is done to us their model is western europe there's absolutely no question about that well when you consider the way they live in. which is one of the most absurd in the murderous dictator story region in the world but nobody says anything about those because then in the west because they are aligned with the u.s. all are specially the u.s.
wants to have a beachhead in the back is done in terms of controlling central asia oil and gas resources and that's another story as well we should talk about resources if we don't change this model which is the french. you know it's waste it's a waste model basically. fossil fuels this thing is going to explode with the middle class middle class and inside the capital the western capitalist system within the next few years is not even decades. in fact when we have this what's happening in greece spain. portugal when this single hits the norse in european countries any it will inevitably maybe north german maybe not germany because germany has a very sound economy they have their export malled all they're doing is strategic alliances with russia in terms of oil and gas they are sustainable but the rest of europe with exception of germany and scandinavia is not then we're going to have
sort of he. was three movement inside western europe as well and this is going to happen within the next few years all right gentlemen because the market itself is unsustainable going to jump in here we're going to go to a short break and after that continue our discussion on the west stay with our. for. thousands to see its.
cash cow to be dry i think that in this country. as an environmental cost which is unacceptable local business is labeled illegal and controlled by criminals in order to protect our lives our families and to work in peace. we are forced to pay protection to illegal groups prices colombia going to pay. the price of the modest effect on our. the.
a bit very violent ok over the last twenty years it's nato interventions is this something that the west should be proud of. well i mean i think the west is still the largest force for good in the world i mean the interventions that have taken place if you think about afghanistan for example that has been to rout out al qaeda operation base terrorist organization that has struck around the world from bali to madrid to london there has been one grave there on which europeans and americans had a new dramatic fall out that was the iraq war that should not have taken place but compared to certain other regions the west is the most peaceful and stable region there is no conflict inside of the west if you look to russia with the chechen conflict in the northern caucasus if you look to see in journalism that's been over for a decade now more than the right now more than a decade so it's not a conflict. well i mean i would still call it a conflict with the violent conflict but money is not a but there's no but there's no violence in chechnya maybe around it but not in
chechnya ok then let's take a shit here and let's look at it as these are there with. yeah well i mean let's let's look at south of let's look at the crowds here let's look at transnistria we have a number of areas in which we have unresolved territory conflicts that is not the situation in the west simply speaking simply put our territory conflicts that we still have either you know dealt with or they are dealt with at the conference table we discuss these issues in a way that is very peaceful and if you look and that is i think the most dramatic really the most dramatic region in the world the south china sea the far east north eastern asia with north korea there and our resolve territorial disputes in a region where you don't have any kind of functioning regional integration that is a region that i'm really nervous about it's not so much the west and what it does it is about china and japan and vietnam and taiwan what is going to happen in the north in the north east of asia that makes me nervous not the west ok pepe what do you think the people in afghanistan think in libya in syria and i go ahead tonight
yeah let me talk a little bit about this. china sea is my backyard because one of my bases is hong kong in fact what's happening the south china sea is going to be solved in a mechanism between the association of the southeast asian countries stan countries and china the problem is the un they will last to have a collective bargaining discussion in the china wants a bilateral discussion i'm sure over the next few i wouldn't say months but perhaps over the next two years or so they will find a mechanism to discuss all the disputes it's basically about oil and gas it's always about energy so who's going to exploit water. so they're going to sell his brother in the china sea. no it's not i hope i'm right it's it's it's so odd to we we are getting from the political leadership from these southeast asian nations and
also from the chinese as china doesn't want a confrontation with the south east southeast these especially because most of these countries if not all of them their major trading partner is guess it china of course you would probably already know the reference currency all over southeast asia nowadays it's not the us dollar anymore it's the you one and now you can change it you one virtually everywhere even in a shopping mall in bangkok for that matter so it's going to be the future reference carus and trade between china is going to grow exponentially so there's no need for a war what do we have is a competition for a gemini between china india and the us it involves not only the south china sea but this whole arc that goes from the arabian sea across the south china sea and the norse china sea as well where japan in north korea that's in the
careers are involved as well but this is a big it's. difference a big power play basically between the u.s. and china and india who wants to more or less control what goes on in the indian ocean we all know that in the future these three all have to live in the same waters the chinese navy the indian navy and u.s. navy so that brings us to the u.s. be able to announce by a bomb almost a year ago at the pentagon if they go with the militaristic kind of speed with them towards asia then we're going to have a conflagration against china soon within the next few weeks east a goal for some kind of commercial alliances with countries in asia individually dennis' a much better prospects for the u.s. and for the west in general ok alexander you know we're getting i mean you know nato is nato a force for good ok because it's looking to the pacific now. well i mean nato is
reaching out to countries like australia and japan to intensify their cooperation but i'll give you an example of that you just mentioned a country where i travel relatively often and that is libya if it had not been for nato colonel gadhafi would have murdered the inhabitants of let him go i don't know that we don't know that how do you know that would do you know what he's for you know that we don't know that that's what he's are going to i know has he does he was i use this guy for twenty years thirty years he's a crazy guy don't listen to him and he makes one statement then you listen to him it doesn't make any logical sense at all his troops were sampling outside of benghazi they were preparing to enter the town he has said that we will he will squash the cockroaches who live there and i quote the colonel gadhafi there's no. other add reuters or already a very bad reuters story ok well reuters has a generally speaking a rather good reputation anyway and this is going to go in what he said as a flight to islamist fighters not to the population as being god's true. i don't
think so what. is in a suicide mission which was by the way the same islamist fighters who attacked the u.s. consulate in benghazi a year later so he was trying to at the time the intervention of nato at least protect the civilians in libya and travel or any family in the region after the bombing started in that conflict well obviously because the way back. nearly two thousand or more people listen will let me finish my sentence. ok thank you very much it's obvious that the conflict took on in terms of gathered intensity after the bombing started simply because the rebels fought all the way back from benghazi to tripoli with which is one thousand kilometers so it's a long distance they had to cover i traveled there many times now the population has had the first democratic election there since nine hundred sixty nine the country is slowly along a difficult path it's coming together and i think if you compare the situation in
libya today with oil exports starting again with a democratic election in place with a constitutional process in place and you look to syria where no intervention can take place because the united secure nation security council cannot agree because of the russian veto then there we have a problem and no intervention isn't here thirty thousand people dead and the suffering continues as we speak ok alexander so you think it's a good it's good to intervene militarily to export democracy it's a good business to be here in the room below the obvious is of am peter and that is a humanitarian imperialism all over again. happy go ahead. no answer the question i do not be able to don't want to let humanitarian end all over again. all right. there is an issue that point it's fair to go ahead there's on there i'll follow you to two thousand when the united states pretended that they were going to export democracy by going into iraq and there was a there was a terrible mistake you can intervene militarily only in
a situation where the moral values that you defend that day they justify the cause and i believe in the libyan case they did just as they did in the balkans after the massacre of srebrenica it was necessary to do these things it is always the option of last choice one should never do this easily and it's very clear that we in europe do not have a view that this should be done easily absolutely not but there are situations in which it is unavoidable and then you must do it and you must do it forcefully and then you must win such a complaint ok pepe doesn't work. legally upsurges i respect alexander's point of view but i've heard this saying from american sinks thanks for over ten years now you know it's a come on they should change the cd by the way it's ridiculous look i've been talking to some very good sources at the european union level in brussels you know what's brewing at the moment a nato war in syria any who know the who doesn't want this war germany in fact that
absolutely pathetic. secretary general of nato has been pressured by the americans and by the turks to go on a mentor against syria and some norse in european countries and specially germany because they know the backlash and the blowback could be absolutely horrendous even worse the libya they're saying no at the moment so this is nato as global robocop it's the same old saying that they decided in that ghastly meeting that they had two years ago in lisbon it's their charter for the twenty first century it's nato is global robocop intervening all over the developing world especially islamic world and specially ago. brown people in support are of other dodgy brown people who happen to be islam ist gangs like this in the midst of gangs who rule libya nowadays and will probably try to rule syria afterwards this is completely absurd i
would see in terms of if i was stuck in on a sox news accent today i will tell you right away the greatest force of evil in the world is not al qaeda it's the top itself alexander apply reply i have to i have to give it to. presents very weak arguments in a very strong way but they remain weak arguments first of all i mean look at what is going on in syria today this is a scary example. goal two why don't you go to war in iraq syria and libya like i did why don't you see what the west between iraq i did it before during and after and then we can have a discussion based on facts on the ground i think i've been very i think i've been very clear about the fact that i think that the iraq campaign was profoundly mistaken both in terms of its justification and in terms of its execution the countries on the board of separation in the north but the point of the fact of the matter is there are situations desirable or not in which the military as
a tool is necessary in foreign policy and i believe that i mean you know anybody in moscow who has looked at the political developments over the last one hundred fifty two hundred years would agree with that the military times is a necessary tool and if you look for example to a situation like the one in northern mali today where you have exams and really sorry i have to jump in here we've run out of time gentlemen many thanks indeed to my guests and brussels and somehow though and thanks to our viewers for watching this year to see you next time remember.